The airports where it's cheaper to park a plane than a car

Pilot Harrison Ford

The cost of parking at some airports is so extreme that it's actually cheaper to park a plane there for a week than it is to leave your car in short-term parking. A new study has revealed the worst offenders - and how to beat the excessive cost.

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The study, by APH, fund that the most overpriced short-term parking is at Edinburgh Airport, where it will cost you just £64.26 to leave a light aircraft (weighing roughly the same as an Audi A3 hatchback) for a week. A car, meanwhile, in short-term parking will cut an eye-watering £315. Second on the list is Liverpool, where leaving a plane will cost £58.10 a week, and a car £280 a week.

The most shocking examples
Edinburgh £64.26 for a plane, £315 for a car
Liverpool £58.10 for a plane, and £280 for a car
Birmingham £65.10 for a plane, and £252 for a car
Cardiff £70 for a plane, and £175 for a car
East Midlands £107.52 for a plane, and £259 for a car
Southampton £102.92 for a plane, and £224 for a car
Manchester £144.48 for plane and £280 for a car
Bristol £139.30 for a plane and £196 for a car

The good news is that only the least organised travellers will pay these extortionate rates for car parking. There are five steps that will bring the cost of parking down below the cost of leaving a plane - and slice a sizeable chunk off the extra costs of your holiday.

1. Opt for long-stay

It's usually further from the terminal, but the rates are far lower. The APH researchers found some jaw-dropping differences between the cost of long- and short-stay for a two-week holiday. Seven airports had a difference of more than £150 in price - and surely most of us could manage a slightly longer trek to the terminal for the sake of £150.

Heathrow £259.60
Gatwick £205
Birmingham £199.50
East Midlands £189
Edinburgh £185
Manchester £178
Luton £164

2. Book in advance

This shaves a huge sum off the cost of parking. The research revealed the biggest savings when compared to the cost of long stay were available at Bournemouth and Stansted airports - where in both cases parking was £107.01 cheaper. This was followed by Luton - where it was £106.05 cheaper, and Edinburgh - with a saving of £100.01.

When compared to the cost of short-stay, the savings are even more impressive - including £325.55 at Heathrow, £285.01 at Edinburgh and £270.05 at Luton.

3. Investigate off-airport parking

Major airports have seen businesses spring up around them, offering fully manned car parks, on secure sites, with a transfer bus to the terminal. It usually means allowing an extra 20 minutes to get to the terminal, but this is often the cheapest option. At Aberdeen Airport, for example, you can pay £48.75 a week for the Park and Ride - which takes five minutes by bus. Compare this to £203 for short-stay, £96 for long-stay, and £89.99 for pre-booked long stay.

4. Think about peer-to-peer parking

There are plenty of peer-to-peer parking sites - including justpark and yourparkingspace - and there are several users around most of the major airports offering airport parking. A search for Manchester Airport, for example, offers a number of spaces within a mile and a half for as little as £25 a week. Some suggest getting a taxi to the airport, or walking for 20 minutes, while others offer to take you if they're around.

5. Use your Tesco vouchers
Your Tesco Clubcard vouchers could come in handy here, because you can swap £5 of vouchers for £10 of APH vouchers, effectively halving the cost of your parking. It can only be used at selected car parks, so check before you book, but a quick search over Easter produced an off-site car park near Edinburgh airport for £57.99 for the week (which will cost you £29 worth of vouchers). It's not bad when you compare it to £315 for short-term parking arranged on the day, or £130 for long-term.

Which councils are making the most from parking?
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Which councils are making the most from parking?
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